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SNHU to 'rescue' Daniel Webster College

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 13. 2016 7:21PM
Southern New Hampshire University has worked out a "teach-out" deal with Indiana-based ITT Educational Services to take control of Nashua's Daniel Webster College. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON/Union Leader Correspondent)

MANCHESTER — Higher education powerhouse Southern New Hampshire University has taken control of the foundering Daniel Webster College and will continue the education of its 550 students, university President Paul LeBlanc announced Tuesday.

LeBlanc said SNHU and the parent company of Daniel Webster — Indiana-based ITT Educational Services — agreed to a teach-out. SNHU will hire the faculty and staff of the college, which is adjacent to the Nashua airport, and students will be able to receive their financial aid and continue with their education.

Seniors who complete their program by August will receive a Daniel Webster College degree. Students who start this academic year with fewer than 90 credit hours will continue as SNHU students and receive a SNHU degree if they decide to remain in the program, LeBlanc said.

"First this is a rescue, a rescue that will require some real resources from us to make it happen smoothly, and that’s OK," LeBlanc said in a telephone interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader.

But the deal also provides opportunities for SNHU. About 200 Daniel Webster students are enrolled in aviation or mechanical engineering programs, and SNHU wants to increase its educational programs in the fields of science, math, engineering and technology programs, he said.

LeBlanc said SNHU had contacted Daniel Webster College officials about a week ago, after news surfaced about ITT and its struggles. On Sept. 6, Daniel Webster said it would remain open, while the remainder of the schools controlled by the for-profit ITT would close.

But by week’s end, the federal government refused to release federal financial aid for Daniel Webster students.

LeBlanc said SNHU worked all weekend to put in place an agreement with ITT. On Monday, the executive committee of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the accrediting agency for both institutions, approved the deal, LeBlanc said.

At 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the executive committee of the New Hampshire Commission on Higher Education approved the teach-out, the final approval necessary.

"The big immediate need is these kids need access to their financial aid and need to continue their studies," LeBlanc said.

The deal does not include the 54-acre campus adjacent to the Nashua airport, he said. SNHU will use it under a licensing agreement.

ITT is expected to move into bankruptcy, which would complicate ownership of any of the company’s assets.

LeBlanc said 87 full-time faculty and staff at Daniel Webster will move over to the payroll and health care coverage of SNHU.

"Our intention is to hire everyone we can, have as little disruption as possible," LeBlanc said.

University Manchester Nashua

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